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I'm writing a story where an alien race of refugees comes to Earth and through their pollen they spread a virus. This virus was in fact, genetically engineered by the aliens as a means to propagate their seed.

The virus is engineered to activate under specific atmospheric conditions. The virus is ingested/transmitted via contact with the pollen. It acts by extracting necessary genetic material from the hosts' cells to fertilize/germinate in Earth's atmospheric conditions.

Obviously this isn't hard sci-fi here. I know this is far-fetched, I just need a vaguely plausible explanation/mechanism by which this could possibly work written in some scientific sounding jargon.

Thanks

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Mołot, sphennings, L.Dutch, Bellerophon, adaliabooks Jan 18 '18 at 17:17

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Viruses don't really extract RNA or anything like that, they inject themselves into a living cell and use whatever materials are available inside that cell to replicate. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Jan 18 '18 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ What's the actual question? If you just want someone to do some of your work for you, for free, you are on wrong site. Stack Exchange is for questions that can be answered at last objectively-ish. And you already provided jargon explanation of what you want, so?.. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 18 '18 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ Pollen is not "seeds". Pollen is not "spores". Pollen is not "sperm". Pollen is the male gametophyte generation of seed plants. While a pollen grain does indeed go through a process which is sometimes called "germination", this is just a name; the process has nothing to do with the germination of a seed. As pollen is the male gametophyte, it needs to mate with a female gametophyte (which, in plants, is enclosed in a structure called an ovule) to produce seeds. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jan 18 '18 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ What you need is not a virus, but a simple parasite. Drop the part where it interacts with the host's DNA - that requires too much handwaving and complicates things. Look most intra-intestinal worms - they have adult stages inside humans and larval stages outside, and they propagate really fast in poor populations. You just need them to do something more than simply stealing nutrients from someone's bowels. Also I would post a much more elaborete version of this as an answer, but people who don't get your question closed it as being unclear. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jan 18 '18 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ To people voting reopen: What's the real question you are seeing here? Please, if you can vote, you also can edit and make it clear for everyone. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 18 '18 at 18:00
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Horizontal gene transfer

Your alien pollen could use the same strategy the bdelloid uses to diversify in their gene pool, this would come with the benefit of having the genetic info of a creature native to the planet to further adapt to it. Of coarse this means you would need to have the pollen hotwired to use parthenogenesis when getting the DNA but I think that this is what your looking for Hope it helps 😊 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_gene_transfer

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